LOrenz WAgner founded LOWA in the Bavarian village of Jetzendorf near Munich, Germany in the 1920’s with the production of brogue oxford shoes. The high quality of the handwork in the Norwegian welt-stitched shoes - a manufacturing process that stemmed from traditional techniques used in the Bavarian mountains required an expansion of the facility in the late 1920's. In 1930/31 Lowa’s first manufacturing facility was built. The groundwork was laid for further success with Alpine boots for the mountain infantry as well as lace-up ski boots. Lorenz Wagner passed away in the 1950’s and the second generation of the Wagner family took the business over despite the tough economic troubles during the 1950’s and 1960’s.
The rapid introduction of man-made materials and innovation in the 1970’s such as the first polyurethane injection moulding systems were brought into operation. On the product side, ground-breaking innovations were introduced - the first vulcanised rubber soles and air injected sole units. They offered 100-percent protection from moisture, insulation from the cold, and maintained their shape despite bending and flexing.
The Italian Tecnica group, which also owns Dolomite, Nordica, Rollerblade and Blizzard acquired LOWA, however Jetzendorf remains the home of manufacturing in Germany with its management headquarters co located with other Departments such as research and development.
In 1996 the Jetzendorf facility was expanded again and in 2000 Lowa sold over 1 million pairs of boots and shoes.
LOWA celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2013 and is by far the largest employer in its rural headquarters of Jetzendorf just outside Munich. Lowa continues its commitment to German production as well as to its original headquarters where the company was founded 90 years earlier. In 2010 Lowa manufactured over 2 million pairs of shoes and boots & approx 8% of Lowa production capacity relates to the manufacture of the Task Force collection (black boots). Lowa also manufacture Work Boots, Ski Boots, Trekking & Hiking boots & Hunting Boots.
LOWA is the market leader in the German-speaking countries including Benelux and continues to build its prominence in the important export markets of North America, Asia and Eastern Europe. Lowa’s strategy of producing nearly 100% of its products in Germany and Europe and to remain in its headquarters in Jetzendorf still proves itself a model of success. Customers appreciate the combination of tradition, comfort and innovation and value the function, quality and fit of LOWA footwear.
Lowa’s aim is to maintain its current accounts in already established countries as well as focusing on new export markets with all of our boot and shoe collections. In the UK Lowa would like to offer a wider range of boots into the Emergency Services and increase the Steel toe capped safety boot business.
Lowa have recently introduced a new lightweight category within their Task Force collection to offer more range to the Emergency Services and continue to increase its range of Safety Boots. Lowa have already introduced a new colour boot for the UK MOD in line with the imminent change of colour and continue to offer a wider range of desert boots.
Trekking boots endure a manufacturing process and most of these steps, even today, are done purely by hand before completion. LOWA choose only the finest leather from specially selected European cows which are free from pollutants. The leather is cut and punched out by a hydraulic press; each shape is unique to each boot and each size. The placement of this press varies by type of leather and is vital for the quality of boot. These pieces of leather are tightly sewn together by robust sewing machines. LOWA use an exclusive spray glue process to guarantee the pores transport moisture out of the footwear. Lasts are the foot-shaped forms made from wood or plastic that the boots are shaped over. The rubber rand is the rubber strip that runs around the boot to protect the leather from moisture and damage - one of the quality hallmarks of LOWA. Almost exclusively, LOWA uses rubber soles which are usually equipped with a cushioning midsole of polyurethane (PU) foam. Not only are the underside of the shaped and cemented uppers pre-treated, but also the sole must be extensively pre-treated before they can be cemented together with a pneumatic press and chemical process. Immediately after attachment they are cured in a cooling chamber. The last, which has given shape to the product during production, is pulled out of the finished footwear. During the final quality control process, all footwear gets a finishing touch. Laces are threaded, footbeds inserted, and product tags attached before the footwear is packed in a box.
VIBRAM® "VIALTA" Work
LOWA Cross Duty
The technical bits & bobs, some of the technical features incorporated into the maufacturing process are explained here.The padded and cushioned linings with achilles flex panels in conjunction with the padded collars and tongues allow the lower leg muscles to function effectively without undue strain. The padded tongues have their own lace hooks to prevent downwards or sideways movement of the tongues.
The Climate Control System is designed to allow the pumping effect generated by walking/running, to drive away the water vapour out of the boot through air permable padding materials and ventilation openings around the edge of the uppers. Moisture around the sole of the foot is absorbed away through the vertical fibre structure of the climate control insole.
Different Gore-Tex® linings in Lowa boots are 100% waterproof, but water vapour permeable. Temperature and pressure gradient between the outside environment and inside of the boot supports the transfer of water vapour outwards. The Gore-Tex® Lining is backed on to a durable longlasting, breathable Cambrelle® lining.
Dry-Best® Lining a very comfortable, breathable, dry and cool lining, which resists odours and dries quickly.
Cambrelle® keeps feet cooler in the summers and warmer in the winter. It breathes to let air in and moisture out. Long lasting and durable.
What is Cambrelle®
- Abrasion resistance
- Moisture management, through
- Bi-component fibres, for a
- Lining that goes the...
- Extra mile
Leather Lining offers the best comfort for normal wear, and absorbs around 200% of its own weight in moisture before needing time to dry out. This lining is found on the Super Camp only.
Vita-Tex® is knitted fabric with polyamide and polyester & it has high abrasion resistance. It is breathable with high moisture absorption and transportation rates. It is free of harmful substances (Oeko-Tex 100 Standard).
The plastic stabilizer element features in all multi-functional footwear. It improves ankle & joint stability stability and torsional rigidity. The Stabilizer is an element of man-made materials.
This MONOWRAP® sole unit construction with a firm 7/8 TPU stabilizer is the most stable and offers optimal traction and perfect support with its high-quality surface materials.
- PU heel stabilizer
- Rubber outsole